Greenstones, Wolves, Moose, Thimbleberries, and the
Isle Royale redfin lake trout
On the map, Isle Royale looks like the eye in the wolf’s head shape of Lake Superior with
Duluth its snout and the Keweenaw Peninsula its mouth. It is precious since there are few places
left on this planet that have been preserved like this. It is unique; some of the oldest rocks on
this planet form Isle Royale, its plants and
animals and minerals. There are copper mining pits on the Island where native Americans dug rich veins of copper
When I think of Isle Royale, I think of
, a place away from
cars and the noise of machinery. There is no traffic on Eden Isle
Royale; only hiking trails.
The sounds of Isle Royale are of
bugling moose, the silvery songs of northern songbirds, the lapping of waves on
rocks and the quavering voices of loons.
Sometimes there is the slap of a beaver’s tail. The resident pack of wolves are elusive and
seldom seen. We did not hear them at
My husband and I hiked the trails there and I’ll never forget the thimbleberries higher than our heads along a trail. We picked the large berries like none other I have ever tasted, copper color, tangy and delicious.
We found greenstones,
’s semi precious
stone. We stayed on Michigan Isle
Royale for a week and every day we took a different hiking
trail. We watched a diving duck teaching
her young to dive. We saw a fox near its
den, and had a close encounter with a moose.
As we hiked, my husband Norm said, “I smell a moose.” I didn’t believe him, but as we came around
the bend, there it was, bigger than life, standing athwart our trail. We kept a respectful distance and it casually
We did not fish, but the rocks off of the island are the place where the
redfin lake trout spawn as they have for millennia. This is an endemic species and its good to
know it is still returning to Isle Royale every year before returning to the
depths of Lake Superior.
In my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes, I have a section devoted to this very special fish, the
Royale redfin lake trout.